Host specificity and speciation of Mycosphaerella and Teratosphaeria species associated with leaf spots of Proteaceae

Persoonia. 2008 Jun:20:59-86. doi: 10.3767/003158508X323949. Epub 2008 May 22.


Species of Mycosphaerella and Teratosphaeria represent important foliicolous pathogens of Proteaceae. Presently approximately 40 members of these genera (incl. anamorphs) have been recorded from Proteaceae, though the majority are not known from culture, and have never been subjected to DNA sequence analysis. During the course of this study, epitypes were designated for several important species, namely Batcheloromyces leucadendri, B. proteae, Catenulostroma macowanii, Mycosphaerella marksii, Teratosphaeria bellula, T. jonkershoekensis, T. parva, and T. proteae-arboreae. Several species were also newly described, namely Batcheloromyces sedgefieldii, Catenulostroma wingfieldii, Dissoconium proteae, Teratosphaeria persoonii, T. knoxdavesii, and T. marasasii. Although accepted as being highly host specific, some species were shown to have wider host ranges, such as M. communis (Eucalyptus, Protea), M. konae (Leucospermum, Eucalyptus), M. marksii (Eucalyptus, Leucadendron), T. associata (Eucalyptus,Protea), and T. parva (Eucalyptus, Protea), which in most cases were found to co-occur with other species of Mycosphaerella or Teratosphaeria on Proteaceae. Furthermore, earlier records of T. jonkershoekensis on Proteaceae in Australia were shown to be representative of two recently described species, T. associata and T. maxii. A phenomenon of underdeveloped, or micro-ascospores was also newly observed in asci of T. maculiformis and T. proteae-arboreae. The exact purpose of asci with two distinct types of ascospores remains to be clarified, as both types were observed to germinate on agar.

Keywords: ITS; Leucadendron; Leucospermum; Mycosphaerella; Protea; Teratosphaeria.